Will the Amazon Kindle DX Abandon Sprint’s WhisperNet for Pure WiFi Connectivity?

Chart courtesy of Yahoo Finance

Larry Dignan’s ZDNet item…

The big Kindle: Pondering Wi-Fi; Netbooks; Market implications

…got me wondering about two things…

1. Will Amazon abandon the Sprint 3G wireless network powered WhisperNet for the Kindle DX and, perhaps, the successor to the Kindle 2 (assuming the Kindle 2 and DX are separate models for different market segments)? None of the big U.S. telecom providers have been doing well. But, as you can see in the dramatic two-year stock chart above comparing Sprint (S), AT&T (T), and Verizon (VZ), Sprint has appeared to have fared far worse than AT&T or Verzion in the past two years based on their stock share price performance. Could Amazon be preparing for a Sprint meltdown by moving away from WhisperNet to pure WiFi access?

2. I’ve always assumed (but have not verified) that part of the Kindle 2’s and ebooks’ relatively high costs were due to a percentage payout to Sprint for the “lifetime” wireless 3G data access. Would dropping Sprint 3G data service allow Amazon to keep the Kindle DX price down? And, if a 3G-less Kindle 3 emerges, could it be priced closer to the magic $200 price-point?

I guess we’ll know more after Amazon’s press event tommorow.